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IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

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25 Jan 2018

Hong Kong’s HKT says it has established the territory’s most comprehensive ‘one-stop Internet of Things ecosystem’ based on multiple connectivity technologies including NB-IoT, LoRa, 3G, 4G, LTE-M and Wi-Fi, supported by its fixed networks, data analytics and Enterprise Cloud platform. HKT, including premium/corporate mobile arm 1O1O, delivers end-to-end IoT solutions, including consultancy, delivery, maintenance, technical support and managed services, positioning itself to help transform enterprises and capture growth potential. HKT (part of PCCW) added that IoT is playing an increasingly important role in sectors such as property management, transportation and logistics, utilities, healthcare, retail, and infrastructure. Examples of current clients include: Hong Kong & China Gas Company (piloting NB-IoT-based automated meter reading with 1O1O in various districts); Hopewell Holding (using 1O1O’s facility management solutions including air quality monitoring); and Great Loyal Logistics (using IoT fleet management integrated with a real-time imaging solution from HKT/1O1O).

Not to be left in the shade by its rival, 3 Hong Kong has selected more than ten NB-IoT solutions created under its 3Innocity incubation programme for general release, highlighting that its NB-IoT network now extends throughout Hong Kong and supports commercialised NB-IoT applications, following network activation last September. NB-IoT services developed under 3Innocity are scheduled to launch from Q2 2018 onwards, and include: a smart electric vehicle charging platform from OneCHARGE Solutions and a smart city location analytics system from Achiever Big Data, plus services for the elderly, smart parking and environmental monitoring, among other applications.

France-based Sequans Communications is collaborating with Japanese network operator Softbank to accelerate the deployment of LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies in Japan. The partners are conducting interoperability testing of Sequans’ Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT platform with SoftBank’s network equipment and are developing a dedicated implementation of Lightweight M2M (LwM2M) technology designed to streamline the device level testing process and speed up the launch of new IoT devices.

Pakistan’s Zong, a subsidiary of China Mobile, has launched the ‘Zong 4G Smart Car’ solution in Islamabad, which it plans to expand nationwide in the short term, providing vehicle diagnostics, tracking and enhanced connectivity in a single package. An onboard device acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to ten smartphones/user devices simultaneously, whilst obtaining real-time onboard data including mileage, speeds, RPM, fuel levels/consumption, plus tracking the vehicle and sending notifications. The solution is plug and play for all Honda and Toyota cars made after 2000.

Slovakian triple-play telecoms operator Antik has launched commercial operations on its LoRaWAN IoT network in 25 locations, a year after beginning tests, announcing that the 868MHz band network will be expanded further based on demand. Antik says it is supporting municipalities via a subsidy programme, whilst partnering IoT hardware manufacturers, system integrators and software providers to develop services using its LoRa network and sensor equipment.

China Unicom Research Institute has joined the Zigbee Alliance, which develops the Zigbee open global wireless technology standard for low-cost, low-power M2M networks. The China Unicom-backed Smart Home Standardisation United Group (SSUG) aims to adopt and develop Zigbee as a device connectivity standard internationally, while also proposing Zigbee technology be accepted into China’s industry standards, including in the smart home market. The Zigbee Alliance formed in 2002 and currently includes 400-plus organisations from 37 countries.

Turkey’s Turkcell has successfully verified the Huawei next-generation BBU5900 base station on its commercial network, noting that the technology will support LTE wireless broadband service expansion and NB-IoT services, providing the capability to rapidly introduce 5G NR with uplink and downlink decoupling to achieve low-cost deployment and seamless coverage of 5G NR and LTE co-site location in the future.

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